The Risks Of Third-party Recharge On King Of Glory Are H

"Honor of Kings" points are as low as 50% off, and game coins worth 648 yuan are only sold for more than 200 yuan… On the road to becoming a "RMB player", low-price temptations from third-party recharges have become one of the ways to "spend money". These recharge channels often allow you to spend less money and buy more virtual currency, but there are also huge risks.

Nandu reporters found that large amounts of recharges and purchases of virtual currency through third-party channels caused huge losses to Internet platforms. This also led some platforms to launch a severe crackdown on third-party recharges. Once players are found to have purchased virtual currency through recharges, they will be punished by being banned and having their virtual currency cleared.

Although many platforms have claimed to crack down on recharge activities through third-party channels, Nandu reporters have found through actual testing that it is still easy to buy virtual currency at prices lower than the official price through a large number of recharge channels, but there is a risk of account theft in the process.

In recent years, the police have also been ruthless in dealing with crimes such as illegal recharges through third-party channels. In 2018, the Beijing police cracked a case of illegally obtaining computer information system data by taking advantage of a system recharge loophole, maliciously stealing recharges, and damaging the company's legitimate interests.

Zhu Wenyu, legal advisor at Beijing Taoan Law Firm, told Nandu reporters that criminals take advantage of pricing differences in limited areas and special regulations on recharge channels to complete a link in the black and gray recharge industry chain, which not only destroys the in-game ecology, but also causes users to suffer problems such as damage to virtual currency and privacy leakage.

Many platforms have frozen accounts of users who illegally obtained virtual currency, and some users have been "accidentally injured"

On June 6, QQ Music issued a statement saying that it had discovered that some users had obtained music coins illegally, which infringed upon the rights and interests of the platform. Therefore, the music coins obtained illegally were recovered, and the illegal accounts were banned for different lengths of time.

Music Coins are virtual currency in QQ Music. They can be used to buy gifts in music comments and live broadcasts, and can be used to help songs get on the charts and show off one's personal style. Many star-chasing groups buy music coins to help their idols get their songs on the charts.

It is understood that the QQ Music platform has dealt with 96 IOS accounts that frequently used illegal channels to obtain music coins. It said that QQ Music found that because some black market channels are good at disguising themselves, users accidentally paid to illegal channels to illegally obtain music coins, but users did not know that the funds purchased through unofficial channels would be illegally obtained by black market channels. QQ Music gave 80% of the original music coins to the 96 accounts that were dealt with as compensation.

However, Nandu reporters found that many netizens said on Weibo that QQ coins purchased through official authorized channels were also frozen in this cleanup.

Ms. Li, a long-time user of QQ Music App, told Nandu reporters that in early June this year, the music coins she purchased on QQ Music worth more than 20,000 yuan were frozen. On June 10, she found that 80% of her QQ music coins had been restored.

Ms. Li said that her QQ LeCoins were all recharged through the official certified channel App Store, and were not obtained through illegal means such as third-party recharge channels as mentioned by the platform.

In response, QQ Music stated that relevant users can continue to provide QQ Music with complaint materials regarding their temporarily frozen Music Coins. After verification, they can be unfrozen. The total amount of Music Coins obtained through compensation and unfreezing can be up to the full amount of the Music Coins frozen in the account.

An investigation by Nandu reporters found that in addition to users of the QQ Music platform, players on multiple gaming platforms had also had their accounts blocked for recharging virtual currency from third-party channels.

Mr. Peng, a player of the game "Marvel Contest of Champions", also encountered the situation where his account was blocked for a short period of time after recharging from a third-party channel.

Mr. Peng told the Nandu reporter that the game "Marvel Contest of Champions" is "a 'money-burning' game."

He explained that it was very expensive because some levels were very difficult and it was difficult to pass them without using "potions". In addition, many players were Marvel fans who wanted to draw "crystals" to collect their favorite heroes, all of which required virtual currency. The virtual currency recharge fee for this game was a global unified price, which was relatively high.

Mr. Peng told Nandu reporters that game coins can be purchased at a more favorable price through third-party recharge.

He introduced that the official channel recharge has multiple price ranges, such as 30 yuan, 68 yuan, 128 yuan, and up to 648 yuan. Each price range has corresponding discounts in third-party recharge channel providers, but the prices fluctuate. "For example, a game coin worth 648 yuan is generally sold for 200 to 300 yuan."

"I saw many people recharged without any problems, so I followed suit." Mr. Peng told Nandu reporters that he once spent more than 200 yuan to recharge game coins worth 648 yuan through a third-party channel, and was banned for 7 days by the platform for "violating the terms".

"Seven days of suspension may not sound like a long time, but it is the time when rewards for important events are distributed, so the actual loss to the players is very large." Mr. Peng was confused by the platform's suspension. "As a consumer, how do I know whether my recharge channel is formal? If this channel is not formal, why can the recharge be successful?"

Many platforms crack down on third-party recharges, and the recharge proceeds cannot enter the platform

In fact, multiple platforms have issued announcements stating that they will crack down on users obtaining virtual currency through third-party unofficial authorized channels.

In June this year, QQ Music issued three announcements in a row, saying that it had discovered that some users had engaged in abnormal behavior of using illegal and irregular channels to obtain music coins, including but not limited to purchasing illegal third-party recharge services from online black market gangs. This behavior infringed upon the rights and interests of the platform, and therefore the "illegally obtained" music coins were frozen and the illegal accounts were blocked.

In early June, QQ Music issued three announcements regarding the illegal acquisition of music coins.

An announcement released by QQ Music on June 8 showed that it had received a notification from the official IOS payment channel stating that the recent payment settlements with QQ Music will see a high frequency and large amounts of bad debts, and QQ Music will not be able to receive the receivables for these accounts.

This announcement clearly states that the funds used to purchase music coins through third-party recharge channels are obtained by these illegal channels and will not enter the QQ Music platform.

To this end, QQ Music stated that once it is verified that users use illegal third-party recharge methods to obtain music coins or platform virtual items, it will take measures including but not limited to recovering all music coins obtained illegally, banning illegal accounts for different lengths of time, and reserving the right to pursue legal liability for serious offenders.

A reporter from Nandu found that many game platforms, including "Honor of Kings", "Perfect World", "Love and Producer", and "Onmyoji", have issued announcements to crack down on third-party recharge activities.

On March 18, 2019, the operation team of the mobile game "Perfect World" issued an announcement to combat illegal third-party recharges, stating that some criminals in the game spread information about illegal recharge transactions such as discount recharges and refunds. The announcement stated that the official will severely crack down on and punish illegal recharge transactions such as selling discount numbers, third-party recharges, and third-party account transactions, including but not limited to permanent account closures, failure to compensate for non-receipts caused by illegal recharges, and failure to handle account thefts caused by illegal recharges, account sales, etc.

"Love and Producer" issued an announcement in December 2017 to ban recharge on behalf of others.

On December 19, 2017, the project team of Love and Producer issued an announcement prohibiting third-party recharge. The announcement stated that any form of third-party recharge or platform recharge rebate behavior is prohibited. Once discovered, it will be severely cracked down and punished, including but not limited to deducting virtual currency obtained from illegal recharge, recovering game items obtained from illegal recharge, temporarily banning login, permanently banning login, etc.

In September 2017, the game "Honor of Kings" issued an announcement to users, saying that there were channels that released information such as free coupons, low-price recharges, coupons, and discounted skins in various forms, taking advantage of the fluke mentality of a few players to deceive players. The platform warned game players in the announcement not to recharge or buy skins through third-party channels. The announcement stated that this behavior may cause the risk of game account and password information leakage. The third-party recharge platform is not protected by any official, and the recharge is not credited after the money is deducted.

For the safety of players' accounts and property, the official "Honor of Kings" stated in the announcement, "It is strongly recommended that everyone recharge and purchase skins through the only official channel."

The mobile game Onmyoji also issued an announcement on its official Weibo account in September 2016, stating that it would not participate in any external CPS and offline guild channel discount activities, nor would it allow any form of first-time recharge and rebates. For accounts that generate discounts through recharge, some freezing and account blocking measures would be taken.

Both users and platforms were "hurt", a fraud gang once maliciously recharged 12 million yuan

Players pay money through the recharge channels, but it is difficult to tell whether the recharge channels are formal and whether the virtual property is protected; the platform cannot obtain the recharge income and suffers losses. The third-party channel recharge industry has actually caused losses to both Internet users and platforms.

In October 2018, under the unified deployment of the Ministry of Public Security's "Net Clean 2018" special operation and the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau's "Net Clean and Protect 2018" special operation, the Haidian Branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau cracked a case of illegally obtaining computer information system data by exploiting system recharge loopholes, maliciously stealing recharges, and damaging the company's legitimate interests, and arrested two people.

In this case, since June 2017, a game developed by a Beijing company has been used by others to maliciously recharge using loopholes, causing economic losses of more than 12 million yuan. The police investigation found that someone modified the electronic voucher generated during the recharge, making the electronic voucher that could only be used once become usable multiple times, thereby obtaining illegal profits by recharging for others.

It is understood that in this case, the suspects posted in the game channel that they could recharge some online games at a price of about 30% off the market price to attract customers. After the customers paid them, they used the cached credentials generated by the system during the first recharge and used technical means to build a specific network environment to maliciously recharge for profit.

From June to October 2018, the Jiashan police in Zhejiang Province cracked a major "cyber hacking" case of illegally obtaining computer information system data. In this case, the suspect deceived the players who charged the account for profit.

The police discovered that there was a studio called "Xiaojiu Mobile Game Recharge" in a community in Jiashan. It had been recharging virtual items for various mainstream online games at large prices below the market price for a long time. The huge flow of funds attracted the attention of investigators.

The studio used an inventory platform entry and exit plug-in called "666" (code name) to exploit loopholes in related application software and carry out illegal and criminal activities.

Under normal circumstances, when a user purchases virtual items in a mobile app store, after entering the payment program and successfully paying, the transaction voucher will be sent to the online game client. After confirmation by the online game client, the corresponding item will be sent to the user.

After receiving the order, the "Xiaojiu Mobile Game Recharge" studio used a mobile phone with a "666" plug-in installed to purchase virtual items. If the payment was not successful, the application store would send an unfulfilled transaction message to the online game client, and the "666" plug-in would intercept the message and replace it with a fake transaction voucher, causing the online game client to mistakenly believe that the transaction was successful and send the corresponding items to the user. In fact, the online game players paid the so-called "recharge" money to the criminal gang, but the online game client did not receive the money.

Actual test: Multiple third-party channels can charge at low prices, but all require account passwords

Despite repeated crackdowns by the police and platforms on third-party recharge agents, Nandu reporters found in actual tests that third-party channel recharge agents are still active in various fields such as games, music, and videos. The prices of the virtual currencies they sell are relatively low and can be used normally.

Recently, a reporter from Nandu found that there are recharge channels on Taobao platform that can buy QQ LeCoins cheaper than the official authorized channels.

In a Taobao online store named "Hui Mou", 6800 LeCoins, which are officially priced at 680 yuan, are sold at 605 yuan in this store. The online store's customer service told Nandu reporters that QQ LeCoins are all charged through formal channels and will not be cleared by the platform.

The customer service sent the Nandu reporter a "recharge test link" worth 6 yuan, and said, "Try to recharge 6 yuan first. If you can, recharge 60 LeCoins first, and then recharge a larger amount of LeCoins." Afterwards, the customer service asked the Nandu reporter for the QQ account and password for logging into the QQ Music platform.

After successfully recharging LeCoin, Nandu reporters can use the virtual currency to purchase paid songs on the platform.

However, two hours after the successful recharge of LeCoin, the Nandu reporter was notified by the Tencent team that there was an abnormality in the QQ number and was advised to change the password.

A LeCoin recharge store on a certain e-commerce website.

Nandu reporters consulted several merchants on Taobao that provide QQ Coin recharge services, and the customer service staff all stated that they obtained QQ Coins for customers through regular channels and the QQ Coins would not be cleared.

In contrast, the third-party recharge channels for virtual currency in the game "Honor of Kings" are relatively hidden. Mr. Tian, ​​a player of "Honor of Kings", told a reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily that he had recharged points through "insiders" many times at the beginning of this year, with the price being 50-60% off the recharge price through official channels. At the same time, "insiders" also sold monthly cards that were more than half cheaper than the official ones.

Mr. Tian told the Southern Metropolis Daily reporter that every time he recharged, the "insider" would ask for the game account password or QR code to log in. "There are many online coupon scams, so I don't dare to recharge coupons from people I don't know. In addition to being defrauded of money, I might also lose my game account."

A store owner claimed that his recharge channel was formal and required an account and password.

Mr. Tian’s concerns are not without reason.

In June 2018, the Fengxian police in Shanghai reported that they had uncovered a fraud case in which someone used a website to top up game coins on their behalf. In February 2018, the Fengxian police received a report from the victim, Mr. Xiao, saying that he met an online friend named Zhu on a certain online platform. Zhu told Mr. Xiao that he could top up game coins on his behalf at a much lower price than the official website. Mr. Xiao was attracted by the low price discount, and after transferring 4,000 yuan to Zhu's Alipay account, he found that he could no longer contact the other party.

Mr. Tian said that in the past two months, the platform has been increasingly strict in regulating third-party recharges. He was worried that his game account would be seized, so he only recharged points or purchased monthly cards through official authorized channels.

He revealed to a reporter from Nandu that a friend of his in the "Honor of Kings" game had his account banned for two months by the platform because he recharged a large amount of points through a third-party unofficial authorized channel.

In addition to music and game platforms, the third-party recharge industry for video membership recharge is also relatively developed. Nandu reporters found a recharge online store on the e-commerce platform that can provide low-cost recharge services for various video memberships.

The store sells monthly memberships of popular video websites such as Tencent Video, Youku Video, LeTV, Mango TV, and Sohu Video, at prices 35% to 70% off the official price. In addition, it can also recharge to become a 7-day membership of some video websites for only 4.5 yuan.

A reporter from Nandu purchased a 7-day "Gold Membership" service from iQiyi at the online store for 4.5 yuan. After payment, he obtained the membership activation code in the order details, then opened the iQiyi VIP membership page, entered the activation code and verification code, and successfully activated the VIP membership card.

Experts: The black and gray industries of charging for others destroy the in-game ecology of Dragon Nest 2 Diamonds , or shorten the life of the game

On June 26, QQ Music responded to a reporter from Southern Metropolis Daily, saying that "online black industry" is an industry-wide problem, and the entire industry is continuously cracking down on it. In order to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the majority of users and maintain the fairness and justice of the platform order, the platform will continue to crack down on "illegal and irregular behavior of obtaining music coins."

At the same time, QQ Music reminds users to avoid illegal recharges through informal channels or illegal methods. This behavior may cause user funds and even personal privacy information to be illegally obtained by black market channels, thereby causing losses to themselves and the platform.

Zhu Wenyu, legal advisor at Beijing Taoan Law Firm, told Nandu reporters that since many game distribution platforms have low prices in limited areas, unscrupulous third-party recharge agents can obtain huge price differences through exchange rate differences in different regions.

In addition, Zhu Wenyu introduced that in the entire gray industry chain of recharge, taking the mobile online games under the IOS system in the domestic game market as an example, the refunds after users' consumption in the App Store have formed a large amount of "vacant" virtual currency. Criminals use this method to obtain the user's App Store account password first, and then apply for a refund after recharging, or use black credit cards to buy gift cards and other means to complete a link in the recharge black and gray industry.

Many netizens expressed doubts about the platforms’ actions of clearing virtual currency or blocking accounts. In response, Zhu Wenyu explained, “This is an action that the platform has to take.”

He said that the third-party recharge industry will not only damage the relationship between game companies and distribution channels, but also destroy the in-game ecology. These situations will not only lead to increased game operating costs, but also shorten the game life cycle.

Zhu Wenyu emphasized that, in a sense, cracking down on the third-party recharge black and gray industries is a matter of life and death for the platform, and game companies can hardly adopt peaceful but long-lasting practices.

He said that in order to effectively curb the illegal behavior of third-party recharge, various platforms always accidentally hurt users in terms of account suspension and clearing virtual currency. In this regard, he suggested that channels and users should fully cooperate with and understand the platform's actions; and game, music and other platforms should also actively improve the accuracy and efficiency of the crackdown, and patiently and efficiently handle complaints from game users who were mistakenly hit to protect the interests of users.

"Giving additional and appropriate compensation to reward and thank users for their understanding and cooperation is also a more heartwarming approach, and can also minimize the risk of game companies being involved in lawsuits," said Zhu Wenyu.

In addition, Zhu Wenyu reminded consumers not to use third-party platforms for recharge. On the one hand, this is to protect their account information. On the other hand, it also avoids the loss of related virtual property, personal information and privacy leakage.

He also called on administrative and financial management departments to fully understand the harm caused by illegal activities in third-party recharges to the market economic order, so as to strengthen law enforcement against illegal activities, reduce the burden on enterprises, and protect the property safety of the people.

Written by: Southern Metropolis Daily reporter Xiang Xueni and intern Huang Xiaoyin


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